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A visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 1) online

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Brereton, Sir (leorge Booth, and Colonel
Dockenfield since then, and my restraint
from arms, might free mee from delinquency
in that point, if thereby I had incurred the
penalty thereof. AVith these, and such
other allegations in defence of myself at that
time, I thought I had given them such satis-
faction as I should have heard no more from
them, till above a month afterwards, I re-
ceived another warrant to appear before
them at Stopport again, where they said
they had more to charge me withall, con-
cerning my delinquency. I accordingly
came before them the second time (Colonel
Dockenfield being there) and there they
demanded if I had taken the natio)ial
covenant, and pressed me with it, whcreunto
I desired to have time given me in such a
weighty matter, to advise with some of my
friends about it, and at length got ten daj's'
respite to answer it at Namtwich, where I
in the meantime satisfied the gentlemen and



counccU of warre, and had a certificate from
them to the sequestrators for that purpose;
they, not herewith contented, nor with any
reasonable satisfaction I could give them,
and neglecting my just allegations in de-
fence of my innocency, proceeded further
against me in renewing their commands to
my tenants to detain my rents from mee,
and commanding them to lu-ing their leases
before them in viewing and rating all my
lands ; and in conclusion, unless I would
agree to give them £500 in composition,
they intended to proceed against me as a
delinquent in all rigour and extremity. This
composition of £500 I was constrained to
make with them on Friday, the 7th of March.
1G44, though not as acknowledging myself
guilty of delinquency, yet thereby to bring
my own peace, and rather than sufter myself
and my estate to fall into the hands of them
of whose unjust proceedings I have already
sufficient tryall, referring my future successe
to the protection of the mighty God of
Heaven, who will right me, as I hope, in his
good time."

Bramhall Hall stands upon a rising ground,
at the intersection of two deep valleys,
through Avhich flow the clear waters of the
Bollin. It was originally a quadrangle, but
the western side was taken down by William
Davenport, Esq., who also removed a gallery
that extended along the top of the eastern
side. In other respects, it still retains a
great deal of its early form, being chiefly
built of timber. Portio)is of it appear to
belong to the reign of Edward the Fourth,
but a few years ago one side was taken down
and rebuilt in a more modern style.

The entrance is by the Great Hall, a
nol^le room of fair dimensions, lighted by
three large windows, one of which forms a
considerable recess on the western side, and
is ornamented by four medallions in stained
glass representing Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, and
Mercury. The roof is flat, with two elabo-
rate carvings in wood, having two modern
lanterns suspended from their centres. The
walls are hung round with family portraits,
and wainscoted with oak. On the right of
the entrance, in a niche formed by two mas-
sive oak pillars, stands a complete suit of
black armour ; and over the fire-place is a
carving of the family arms, above which is
inscribed, " 1609. Sir AVilliam Davenport,
Knight," v.'hile underneath is Dame Dorothy
Davenport. On either side of these is a
number of carved heads in high relief, ap-
pended to the perpendicular beams that sup-
port the ceiling. To the left and right of
tlie fire-place are two noble antlers, round
Avhieh hang several steel spurs, brass stir-
rups, and other pieces of armour belonging
to the time of Cromwell.



SEATS OF OREAT BRITAIN.



105



This Great Hall is no doubt the oldest
part of the building. The whole of its in-
ternal arrangement presents a fine specimen
of the decorations and furniture of the Eli-
zabethan age. From here a spiral staircase,
composed of solid oak blocks, leads to the
drawing-room, a handsome apartment about
twelve 3''ards square, wainscoted nearly to
the ceiling, which is modern, and decorated
with several pendants and elaborate orna-
ments in stucco. The armorial bearings of
the successive alliances are placed above the
wainscot, and tlie mantel-piece bears the
arms of Queen Elizabeth, said to have been
presented by her to the Davenports.

The next object of interest is the plaster-
room, so called from the material of which
the floor is composed, one of the few remain-
ing examples of that oriental style, which
was introduced by the Crusaders. It bears
the date 1599, and is hung round with buff
coats, chain armour, and military armour,
and with a large piece of tapestry, the work
of Dame Dorothy. In the centre of the
floor stands an antique bedstead with much
superfluity of ornament, matched in one
corner by a very venerable clock. Here,
too, may be seen three spindles, a word
which ere long will be only found in archaic
glossaries, the thing itself scarcely occurring
any^vhere except in fairy tales, which are
themselves growing obsolete. But the most
singular piece of furniture in this room is a
clumsy, but richly-carved cradle, wherein no
doubt many generations have been rocked
to sleep.

Contiguous to the plaster-room is a bed-
cha'mber that had once been appropriated
to Dame Dorothy, and wliich is called
the paradise-room from the tapestry of the
bed representing the history of the Fall. It
was worked by the hands of the indefatigable
dame, wlio indeed seems to have thought
with most other good folks of her day, that
women came into the world for no earthly
purpose but to sew, spin, cook, embroider,
and nurse children. Round the fringe at
the top is the foUowmg quaint inscription : —
" Feare God, and sleepe in peace, that thou
in Chryste mayeste reste. To passe these
dayes of sinne, and raigne with him in blisse
where angels do remayne, And blesse and
prayse his name AYith songs of joy and ha-
pines, And live with him for ever. There-
fore Lord m thee is my full hope and
trust, that thou wilt mee defend from sin,
the world, and divilo, who goeth about to
catch poor sinners in their snare, and briuge
them to that i^lace where greefe and sorrows
are. So now I end my lynes and worke that
hath beenelonge to those that doe them reade,
in hope they will be pleased by me, Dorothy
Deveuport, 1636." If the good dame's de-
votion and industry were not of a very rati-



onal order, they were at least earnest and
sincere. On another part of the bed, " M.
D. 1610, and D. D. 1614," are inscribed,
relating probably to the date of her own
birth, and that of her husband.

The roof of this room is panelled, the
floor is of solid oak, and the walls wains-
coted with the same material. The chairs,
drawers, and cabinets, are all elaborately
carved, and upon the walls are hung the
eternal embroidery in various frames.

A wainscoted apartment in the south-
east conducts to the banqueting- room,
which occupies nearly all that remams of
the first story on the south side of the qua-
drangle. Tliis room is about forty -two feet
long by twenty-one feet wide, and is also
lined with oak. The roof is divided length-
wise into six compartments, upheld by mas-
sive timbers, alternately sustained by up-
rights that rest on obtuse arches of oak
sprung from pilasters. The sides of these
arches are decorated with foliage, rosettes,
and quatrefoils, and are finished at the top
with an embattled moulding. The windows
are narrow, in the Gothic style that prevailed
at the date of the building. That upon the
north side is an oriel projecting over the
quadrangle below on a carved corbel, on
which, amongst other emblems are the shield
and bearings of the Bramhall family. The
centre of the hall is occupied by a knotted
maple table, eighteen feet long, while at one
end stands an oaken sideboard, remarkable
for its exquisite carving.

In the south-east angle of the building is
the domestic chapel, about forty-two feet
long and nineteen feet wide, with a stone
floor and a flat roof sustained by brackets.
Over the entrance is painted in black letter
a summary of the Ten Commandments, and
on either side are quotations from the Fa-
thers. The window above the altar is di-
vided into nine bays, and enriclied with
Gothic fret-work as well as armorial bearings
upon stained glass, the centre being fiUed by
a small painting of the crucifixion. The
altar itself is rudely formed of a fossU marble
slab, on either side of which is an antique
chair. At the end of the bcTich to the right
of the entrance is a curious oak-carving, the
date of which, from its devices, — the rose
and fetterlock, the feathers of the princi-
pality, the ragged staff, and the rampant
bear of the heiress of the Earls of Warwick
— may be referred to the time of Richard the
Third. At the eastern cud of the chapel is
the family vault.

When some repairs were being made a few
years since in the north-east part of the
building, the Avorkmen discovered two small
rooms, which are supposed to have been
intended for a hiding-place to the family
when under persecution in the time of the



106



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



Civil War. They are now, however, furnished
in the modern style, and appropriated to the
servants.

The family crest, a felon's head, with a
knotted halter round the neck, occupies a
conspicuous place at the entrance on the
south side. " It is supposed," says Orme-
rod, " to have been borne on the helmets of
the master serjeants in their perambulations
through the Peke hills, and the forests of
Leek and Macclesfield to the terror of the
numerous gangs of banditti, which tlien
infested those wild districts. There is in the
possession of the Capesthorne family a long
roll, without date, but very ancient — con-
taining the names of the master-robbers who
were taken and beheaded in the times of
Vivian,Thomas, and Roger de Davenport, and
also of their companions, and of the fees paid
to them in right of their serjeantcy. From
this it appears that the fee for a master rob-
ber was two shillings and one salmon, and
for his companions twelvepence each. There
is also an account of the several master rolj •
bers and their companions who were slain by
the Serjeants with the fees thereon."

Amongst the many valualjle portraits in
• this mansion is one of Sir Urian Legh, the
supposed hero of Percy's old ballad —

" Will you hear of a Spanish ladye,
How she wooed an Englislunani
Garments gay, as rich as may be,
Docked with jewels had she on."

BARROW GREEN HOUSE, Oxted, Surrey,
the seat of Charles Legh Hoskins
Master, Esq., a Magistrate and Deputy-
lieutenant for that county. This gentleman
belongs to a branch of the ancient Kentish
family of Master, of East Langdon, one of
whom. Sir Edward Master, Avas governor of
Dover Castle.

The precise date of this building cannot
be ascertained, but it is generally supposed
to have been erected in the latter end of
Henry the Eighth's reign, or early in the time
of Elizabeth. It was modernized about the
middle of the eighteenth century by Kathcrine
Duchess of Devonshire, daughter and heiress
of Jolni Hoskins, Esq., and widow of the
second Duke of Devonshire. The original
gable ends may still be seen in the east front.
This estate was possessed at an early
period by the family of Rede, from whom it
was purchased by that of Hoskins. The
male line of this race becoming extinct, Ka-
thcrine, sole daughter and heiress of Wil-
liam Hoskins, Esq., I)roiight it bj' marriage
to Legh IMaster, Esq., of New Hall, Lanca-
shire.

There was formerly attached to the house
a small deer park of twenty acres in extent.
This liowever in more recent times has been
converted into pleasure grounds, laid out
Avith much taste and elegance, and probably



leaving little, or nothing, to regret in the
alteration.

PALE, near Corwen, Merionethshire, the
seat of the Rev. David Morris Lloyd, who
derives his descent paternally from Hcdd
Molwynog, Lord of Uwch Aled, a cliieftain
of Denbighland, fonnder of nine noble tribes
of North Wales and Powis. 'I'he name,
which is pronounced as a dissyllable — Pallcy
— signifies " where is it ? " in olden times,
wlien a liouse was built, they invited the
senior of the tribe or family to come and see
it, and from his impressions they derived
the name of the new edifice. The head of
the Lloyd sept was thus invited, and being
told there is the house, demanded " pale ! "
— where is it, for the building, like its suc-
cessor in the present- day, was completely
embosomed, and hid from sight by trees.

At what time the house thus alluded to
was built is uncertain ; but it was pulled
doAvn and a new building erected on its site
in 1800 by the Rev. James Lloyd. It is in
the castellated style that harmonises well
with the bolder features of AVelsh scenery.
The demesnes are covered with wood, pre-
senting a park-like appearance, and at the
bottom of the grounds iloAvs the river Dee.

From time immemorial this estate has
been in the possession of the Lloyds, or as
it is more correctly written Llwyds.

BAEASET, Warwickshire, in the parish of
Alveston, the seat of William Judd Harding,
Esq., a jMagistrate and Deputy-lieutenant of
the county, two miles from Stratford East,
near the turnpike road to VVellesbourne, Kine-
ton, and Edge Hill. This family of Harding
is a branch of the ancient house of Arden, of
Longcroft, more immediately descended from
Judd Harding of Hampton in Arden, pre-
sumed to have been grandson of Henry Arden
of Longcroft. The orthography now used in
the siu-name, was adopted by the family at a
very early period. The original designation
of Arden was first assumed from their residing
in a part of the country so called from its
woodiness, the old Britons and Gauls, as Cam-
den observes, using the word in that sense.

The mansion of Baraset was built in 1800,
by William Harding, Esq., a justice of peace,
deputy-lieutenant for the county of AVar-
wick, and gentleman of the bed chamber to
George the Third. It is a brick building of
three stories, in the modern style of archi-
tecture, which it is at all times so difficult
to define. The whole has of late been much
enlarged, and the walls covered with a coat-
ing of cement tl.at from its colour gives the
house the appearance of having been built
of stone. About the mansion are full two
hundred acres of the best land, and a lawn
of forty acres stretching nearly to tlie famed
river Avon.










.^p






SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



107



The site of this estate is said by Dugdale
in his history of Warwickshire to be oue of
the pleasautest, as well as healthiest iu the
whole county.

COLE ORTON HALL, is to the western
parts of Leicestershire, what Belvoir Castle
is to the eastern, the crowning glory. Some
mansions derive their charm from beauty of
situation — some from their architectual
grace - some from their historical or poetical
associations — Cole Orton possesses all these.
Originally it was but a hamlet of Ashby de
la Zouch, and in 1322 it was in the pos-
session of Alan le Zouch ; it soon after
came to the Maurewards and by a
marriage of Philippa, heiress of that
ancient line, it passed to the "glorious
Beaumonts," in whose family, with the short
intermission of the unjust attainder of John
Viscount Beaumont (afterwards reversed),
it has continued for upwards of 500 years.
In the troublous times, it was garrisoned by
the Royalists, and Charles I. spent one
night in the old Hall and dated from it one
of his most important letters. At the
period when Sir Geoi-ge Beaumont, the dis-
tinguished amateur painter, succeeded to
the estate (about 1798) Cole Orton was
little more than a ruined mansion and a
moorland waste covered by coal banks and
scattered colliers' cabins.* Under Sir
George's fine taste the domain was soon
embellished by the present elegant mansion
(finished iu 1804), the unsightly cabins were
converted into rural cottages, and the
gi'ouuds were laid out and planted with
exquisite judgment. In this task, and
especially iu the production of the unique
winter garden, Sir George wa.s aided by his
friend Wordsworth who composed amid the
shades of Cole Orton some of the choicest
of his poems. Here too Sir AValter Scott
wrote a portion of " Ivanhoe,^^ the scene of
Ashby Tournament being in the adjoining
parish, and here Sir George Beaumont pro-
duced those admirable pictures which have
been the delight of connoisseurs and lovers
of art.

The pleasure grounds have long been the
admiration of all visitors, and justly so, for
they are all that taste, genius and judgment
could make them. Memorials of Francis
Beaumont, the dramatic poet, of Sir Joshua
Reynolds, and of AVordsworth form in-
teresting objects in these delightful gardens,
which abiound, indeed, in all those embellish-
ments which elegant art knows how to
mingle with the productions of Nature.
The Hermit's Cell, carved by AVordsworth
from the natural rock, and frequently the
scene of his contemplative musings, is oue

* The name of the village is derived from the Coal in
■which it abounds, and there is evidence of a pit hanng
been worked hero very soon after the Conquest.



of the most charming of tliese accessories
to the charms of Cole Orton. The terrace
commands a prospect of almost unrivalled
extent and beauty, skirting the foreground,
commences the beautiful range of the
CliaruM'ood Hills, below them a rich valley
interspersed with many a village tower and
spire, and in the far east — at the distance of
thirty miles — the towers of Belvoir are dis-
tinctly in view. The mansion itself is all
that might be expected from the exquisite
taste of its founder. Externally it makes
no pretensions, and its style is somewliat
bizarre, but for completeness, elegance and
comfort combined, and suitability to tlie
wants of a country gentleman's family, the
interior has few equals. The entrance liall,
approached by a stone portico surmounted
by the Beaumont sliield, is octagonal and is
richly decorated with the armorial bearings
of the family. The staircase contains a
finely-toned organ, and the rooms are ex-
ceedingly elegant and well proportioned.
The village church, with its massive tower
and lofty spire, forms a pleasing object on
the south-west of the mansion. In addition
to many niediasval antiquities the venerable
fabric contains a noble specimen of Sir
George Beaumont's pencil, Peter after his
Denial.

CALICE ABBEY, Derbyshire, tJie seat of
Sir John Harpur-Crewe, Bart. Before the
Norman conquest this mauor belonged to the
Earl of jNIercia, who granted it to Burton
Abbey. In the reign of Henry the Eightli
it was held by Sir William Bassett, Knt. In
1547, Edward the Sixth granted the site of
the abbey to John, Earl of Warwick. Tn
1577 it was i?ossessed by Roger Wensley,
Esq., who made the abbey his residence. In
1582, Ricliard Wensley, Esq., sold the pro-
perty to Robert Bainbrigge, Esq., and lie, in
1621, conveyed it to Henry Harpur, Esq., of
Normanton, a gentleman of ancient family,
tliat may be traced up to the time of the
Conquest. Amongst them will be found
many characters distinguished in their day.
While some, like Roger Harpur, exalted tlie
family by their achievements in the field,
others, like Richard Harpur, serjeant-at-law
and judge of the Common Pleas, added much
to the family wealth, and increased the lustre
of its name by his more peaceful acquisi-
tions. From this root has descended the
present owner of the estate, whose grand-
father, Sir Henry Harpur, in the year 1808
assumed, under the royal sign manual, tlie
name of Crewe, it having been that of his
great grandmother, one of the daughters and
coheiresses of Thomas, Lord Crewe of Stene.

Calke Abbey, Avhich is Sir John Crewe's
principal seat, was erected early in the last
century, by a Sir Henry Harpur, Bart. It



108



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



is a noble as well as elegant edifice, built of
freestone, round a quadrangular court. The
style of architecture is Ionic, highly enriched,
■with fluted pilasters between the windows,
and an elegant balustrade, that runs round
the whole building, within which is a flat
roof, covered with lead. In the centre of the
south front are two flights of steps leading
to the portico, the pediment of which is sup-
ported by four Ionic columns. The hall or
saloon communicates with the principal
apartments, and is forty-six feet in length,
thirty-one in width, and twenty- nine feet in
height. This saloon is richly adorned with
paintings, cabmets, &c., the foi'mer present-
ing numerous family portraits by emment
artists, and the latter containing an abund-
ance of well arranged fossils, shells, and
other natural curiosities. Portraits of Sir
George and Lady Crewe are considered to
rank among the best productions of Reinagle.
There are portraits also of the Earl and
Countess of Huntingdon, Major Harpur,
Judge Harpur of Swarkstone, Sir John and
Honourable Catherine Lady Harpur, Lady
Palmer, Lady Gough, the Duke and Duchess
of Rutland, &c. To the right is the drawing-
room, the dimensions of which are tAventy-
nine feet nine inches by twenty feet three
inches. This spacious room is elegantly fur-
nished ; the wallsareadorned withlandscapes,
and other works of art ; and the sideboards
are ornamented with vases of exquisite work-
manship, and a costly Chinese pagoda carved
in ivory. To the left is tlie breakfast-room,
twenty feet by nineteen feet ; and tlie dining-
room, which is thirty-three feet by twenty-
eight feet. These rooms are exactlj'- lialf the
height of the saloon, and with it occupy the
southern front. On the east is the library,
forty -four feet in length and nineteen feet in
width. It is well stored with works in every
department of literature. The prospect from
the eastern front is highly picturesque, com-
prising the varieties of a valley, with lawns,
woods, and water. The lower rooms consist
of the private room of Sir John, and va-
rious other apartments. The ixpper story
contains handsome chambers, connected by
extensive passages and spacious ante-rooms.
In one of these is a collection of preserved
birds, contaming specimens rare for colour
and species, collected within a few miles of
the house. The principal bed-chambers, &c.,
are upon the second story, consisting of four
suites of family apartments, seven smaller
single rooms, school -room, nursery, and ser-
vants' apartments. These chambers are all
fourteen feet nine inches in height. In this
house, although it has never been put up
either for use or ornament, is perhaps one of
the most splendid state-beds in the kingdom,
presented, on the occasion of her marriage,
by Caroline, queen of George the Second, to



Lady Caroline Manners, aftenvards Hai-pur,
as one of her bridemaids.

The house, thus minutely, if not graphi-
call)' described, stands in the centre of a large
park, with the ground rising from it on all
sides in gentle and well-wooded elevations.
These, again, are intersected by valleys^
wherein the oak and other forest trees have
attained an immense size, the scene being
rendered yet more picturesque by sheets of
water and by herds of deer, sheep, and cattle
feeding on the abundant pasturage. Tlie
first-mentioned are a fine species of the fallow
deer, and the sheep are a peculiar breed,
called the Portland. Yet, beautiful as the
grounds now are, it is said that about half a
century ago, or perhaps a little more, few
places could have been more wild and deso-
late. Nature, indeed, had given capabilities
to the place, as no doubt she has done to
most portions of the earth, if only taste and
good sense are called in to avail themselves
of her peculiarities ; but she had not com-
pleted her work, and this defect the late Sir
George Crewe had set about remedying, with
no less zeal and inventive spirit than with
judgment. In a little time the place assiuned
the aspect which it now bears, and which
seems so natural to it, that one can hardly
ixnderstand how it should ever have been
otherwise. Nor did he forget the useful
while he was thus zealously employed iu
converting ruggedness into beauty. Before
his time tlie place had been ill pi'ovided with
water. At a great expense, he now brought
an abundant supply from a spring beyond
Ticknall — about a mile and a half off — to a
grand reservoir in the park, from which,
again, it was conducted to the house, the
dairy, the gardens, and the stables, standmg
on the north side of the mansion.

" This is an art
^\^lich (loth mend nature— change it rather ; but
The art itself is nature."



Online LibraryBernard BurkeA visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 1) → online text (page 24 of 79)